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Dinolfo issues state of emergency due to high water levels along Lake Ontario

May 09, 2019 07:18 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo has issued a state of emergency Thursday due to high water levels along Lake Ontario. 

A 5 mph speed limit is now in effect for all boat traffic within 500 feet of the Lake Ontario shoreline in Monroe County, in addition to the entirety of Irondequoit Bay, Braddocks Bay, and the Genesee River. 

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The order creates a “no wake zone” for these waterways, which is intended to help minimize damage to shoreline communities along Lake Ontario. 

“The International Joint Commission has taken every opportunity throughout 2018 and this year to reduce the risk of flooding by releasing as much water from Lake Ontario as conditions on the St. Lawrence River would allow," Lana Pollack, IJC US Section Chair said in a statement. "Lake Ontario outflows have been steadily increasing as downstream flooding abates. Nonetheless, the lake is rising because high inflows from Lake Erie and rainfall are greater than the amount of water that can be released. While careful management of Lake Ontario outflows reduces peak elevations on both Lake Ontario and downstream, it is not possible to prevent flooding during sustained periods of extremely-high water supplies.”

Dinolo held a news conference Thursday afternoon to discuss the high water levels:

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